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Wheel replacement - do brands/hubs matter?

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Wheel replacement - do brands/hubs matter?

Old 06-09-20, 03:10 AM
  #1  
Gillparis
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Wheel replacement - do brands/hubs matter?

Hi all

I was hoping you could give me a bit of insight into wheels/hubs/cassettes. I have a set of Rigida Superchromix wheels with Atom hubs from the damaged bike. The exterior and spokes are in good condition and the wheels turn freely. The inside of the rims is rusty (photo below).

I have another bike that needs a new wheel. It has a Samir Saminox wheel with a New Star hub. The bike is a demi-course (I don't know the English for this!) and the wheels are the same size. I would have to change the cassette on the Rigida as it has only three speeds.

Could you advise me. Are the Rigida wheels usable with the level of rust, even if temporarily until I find a new wheel? I could just put them on for now. Also, if I am looking for a replacement wheel, does it need to have the same hub as the existing one? The bike is mine, not something I am trying to sell after and it already has some non original parts so I am not seeking to perfectly replace the missing bits.

Is this the correct part of the forums to ask questions like this? I feel like I am crashing an expert forum with my basic questions!

Many thanks
Gill

​​​​​​





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Old 06-09-20, 07:20 AM
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The rust looks like moisture trapped under the rim tape. It doesnt look too bad. Try a brass wire wheel on a drill to clean it up a bit.

Realistically you will be much happier with a set aluminum rims in the longterm. If you can, I'd try to find some replacement aluminum wheels for weight and braking reasons.
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Old 06-09-20, 08:17 AM
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Thank you. I have already cleaned them up by hand but I was a bit concerned about making it worse.

I will have a look around for aluminium rims - prices seem really high for everything at the moment hence I would rather make do. The bike has old Mafac cantilever brakes like the photo below. Can I use any type of rim with these?

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Old 06-09-20, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Gillparis View Post
Hi all

I was hoping you could give me a bit of insight into wheels/hubs/cassettes. I have a set of Rigida Superchromix wheels with Atom hubs from the damaged bike. The exterior and spokes are in good condition and the wheels turn freely. The inside of the rims is rusty (photo below).

I have another bike that needs a new wheel. It has a Samir Saminox wheel with a New Star hub. The bike is a demi-course (I don't know the English for this!) and the wheels are the same size. I would have to change the cassette on the Rigida as it has only three speeds.

Could you advise me. Are the Rigida wheels usable with the level of rust, even if temporarily until I find a new wheel? I could just put them on for now. Also, if I am looking for a replacement wheel, does it need to have the same hub as the existing one? The bike is mine, not something I am trying to sell after and it already has some non original parts so I am not seeking to perfectly replace the missing bits.

​​​​​
The rust is not that bad. A wire brush and an oil based solvent like mineral spirits or kerosene will remove most of it. Clean the solvent with denatured alcohol before installing the rim tape. Although they are relatively wide rims (1-1/4"), you'll need to install 10 or 11mm rim tape.

If the bike will be used daily for commuting, long distance touring and consistantly exposed to rain, then aluminum rims would be preferable since they do not rust. Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with steel rims.
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Old 06-09-20, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Gillparis View Post
Thank you. I have already cleaned them up by hand but I was a bit concerned about making it worse.

I will have a look around for aluminium rims - prices seem really high for everything at the moment hence I would rather make do. The bike has old Mafac cantilever brakes like the photo below. Can I use any type of rim with these?
You should be good to go if you stick with the original rim diameter (and avoid "disk brake only" rims).
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Old 06-09-20, 07:26 PM
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I really don't care about old wheels at all. If they're not in great condition then, I just get rid of them. You can buy a beautiful new pair of machine built 36h alloy wheels with sealed cartridge bearings for as little as $145 delivered to your front door these days. These simple inexpensive new wheels easily outperform most all old wheels. And, if you move up to wheels that cost around $250 - $350 there's no comparison to old obsolete wheels. Remember, the wheels (and tires) are what makes a bike come alive. If you want to go far & fast put your money on wheels & tires.
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Old 06-09-20, 07:36 PM
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Especially any set that's rear wheel is spaced 130mm :

https://www.velomine.com/index.php?m...5hr20l6c5h3bl6
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Old 06-09-20, 07:40 PM
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This is an unbelievable deal on 126mm wheels:

https://www.velomine.com/index.php?m...8qu18fgc5cgr10
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Old 06-09-20, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
I really don't care about old wheels at all.
some of us care about old wheels....
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Old 06-09-20, 07:50 PM
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Check this out:

https://bicyclewheelwarehouse.com/Ro...Wheel-Set.html
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Old 06-09-20, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
I'm trying to think what those would look good on...
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Old 06-09-20, 08:56 PM
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Demi-course is probably cyclocross or touring? Those rims/wheels look fine. If you want performance gains, then get new wheels. We would like to see a drive side picture of each of these bikes.

And, you are in the right place to ask these questions.
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Old 06-09-20, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Gillparis View Post
I have another bike that needs a new wheel. It has a Samir Saminox wheel with a New Star hub. The bike is a demi-course (I don't know the English for this!) and the wheels are the same size. I would have to change the cassette on the Rigida as it has only three speeds.
I believe that demi-course is sport-touring in English, at least in North America.

3 speed? Does it have 3 cogs and a derailleur, or is it an internally geared hub? If it is a 3 speed freewheel (3 cogs), then it must be pretty old. If it is a 3 speed internally geared hub like a Sturmey Archer, than it's not going to work.

There are different widths for different types of rear hubs. Assuming it's a freewheel hub, you most likely have 120mm. It is measured from the outside of the locknuts. 3 speed freewheels were way before my time, but I think they were 120mm, so you can use any wheel that has 3, 4, or 5 cogs on it. Since you are in France, it most likely has French threads. If it is in fact a 3 speed freewheel, an easier approach would be to replace it with a 5 speed freewheel. All you need is a very old bike shop that never cleans....

PS That rust is trivial. Just clean it off with a wire brush or something.

Last edited by Salamandrine; 06-09-20 at 10:17 PM. Reason: typo as usual
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Old 06-10-20, 01:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
I 3 speed? Does it have 3 cogs and a derailleur, or is it an internally geared hub? If it is a 3 speed freewheel...
It has 3 cogs and a derailleur - I put a photo. The bike it came off was old (60's maybe or older). The bike I need the wheel for is maybe from the 70's or 80's. It had a 5 speed freewheel so I was going to find one and replace it. I will check the width but I think it is OK. There is a community bike repair project that sells parts and they often have things like that.

Thank you!

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Old 06-10-20, 05:33 AM
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Gillparis I would keep and clean those old wheels. I remember wing nuts! My first bike I bought in Japan back in the 60's had them.
The key to determining if they are usable or not is how the bearing feel when rotating the wheel on the axle. If they are smooth, then disassembly, cleaning and lubing is the ticket. If you know how to adjust cone and cup assemblies, all the better.

Pictures of the bike the wheels came off would be lovely.

OH, if you get a wire brush, make sure it is brass and not steel. Brass is softer and will not mark the surface as badly or not at all. Steel wool on the spokes works well to clean them up.

Yes some of us still care about old wheels. They are a bit more valuable than old cables.
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Old 06-10-20, 06:35 AM
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I am keeping the wheels to put on my other bike. I put some pictures of the original bike below. The frame is bent and cracked as you can see. I don't know what you would like to see so I put a selection.

​​​​​​The wheels move with no noise and freely. I am a bit wary about taking the hubs apart as I am not sure if I can put them back together!

I will scrub a bit more at the rust. I have to say that the photo was after I had scrubbed....





Last edited by Gillparis; 06-10-20 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 06-10-20, 06:55 AM
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oh, thanks for this thread, I was also searching for the answer for this question
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Old 06-10-20, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Gillparis View Post
It has 3 cogs and a derailleur - I put a photo. The bike it came off was old (60's maybe or older). The bike I need the wheel for is maybe from the 70's or 80's. It had a 5 speed freewheel so I was going to find one and replace it. I will check the width but I think it is OK. There is a community bike repair project that sells parts and they often have things like that.

Thank you!


Thanks for the picture, that helps!

Yes, that is an old 3 speed freewheel. Theoretically, a 5 speed freewheel should spin right on there and fit (as long as it's French threaded). However, these 3 speed era bikes were way before my time and there could be some issue I don't foresee. Hopefully your bike cooperative shop will have the archaic remover tool to take the old one off. You may need to improvise.

One thing that should be mentioned is that freewheel appears to be meant for an 1/8" chain, not 3/32" like a more modern (like 1950s!) derailleur chain. This means you will need a new chain too. Make sure your chainwheels etc are compatible with 3/32"; but I suspect you will not have a problem.

Very cool old bike by the way. It does appear pretty bent, but you should be able to bend it back and straighten everything, with some effort. Bikes like this usually had fairly thick and ductile tubing.
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